Financing a Condo Purchase

Florida is not like most other states in terms of financing a condo purchase. A mortgage is required to purchase a Florida condo. This has been the case since the last real estate crisis.

The down payment is the most important requirement. A loan approval is possible only if the condo questionnaire has been reviewed, as most mortgages are sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The down payment and completion of the questionnaire are the main requirements for a loan. If the condo development fails to answer any questions in the questionnaire, the down payment must be at least 25% (owner occupant) and 30% (vacation residence/investment).

The questionnaire is not required for most condo developments in Florida. This is particularly true for vacation/resort areas where the non-owner occupants are higher or units are rented. It is not always a bad thing to fail the questionnaire. It just allows the lender to know the risk.

Many lenders have a condo list that includes buildings that pass the questionnaire. Ask your lender if they have one.

Do not give in to the temptation of the lender telling you to shop for a condo, then wait to see if the underwriting will accept the questionnaire for a lower down payment.

This is something I’ve heard from both lenders and other agents. If your chosen condo building fails to pass inspection and you don’t have sufficient funds for the down payment, you can lose a lot time and money.

Ask your agent to contact the listing agent and find out if there is any financing available for the building. You can also pay upfront for a questionnaire before you submit your offer.

FHA & Florida Condos

Up until now, it was almost impossible to get an FHA mortgage in Florida to purchase a condo. You can now buy a condo in Florida with an FHA mortgage.

There are however some requirements that condo developments must adhere to. A limited number of FHA loans will also be permitted in condo buildings. Ask your lender if you may be eligible for financing in the development or building that interests you.

This post was written by Dayana Susterman Dotoli. Dayana is the head real estate agent for the Tiffany House In Ft. Lauderdale Beach. Dayana has assisted over 150 individuals with buying, selling, and leasing at Tiffany House. The Tiffany House Residences is a 12 story tower,  offers 129 residences, including 1, 2 and 3-bedroom condominiums and townhomes, with exclusive, resort-style amenities and views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Looking for a condo at Tiffanyhouse Fort Lauderdale for sale? Contact us today!

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